The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has announced temporary changes to the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) because of COVID-19. Until further notice, the CAPI face-to-face interview requirement is waived for CAPI initial applications. Counties and CAPI consortia must accept CAPI applications by mail and telephone. For telephone applications, county stall must read each question on the CAPI Statement of Facts and Statement of Household Expenses and Contributions to the applicant in their preferred language, using an interpreter as necessary and record the answers. Counties and CAPI consortia can also complete the application process by videoconference.
For telephone applications, the county shall ask the applicant’s permission to sign the application as a proxy for the applicant to preserve the protected application date. If the applicant refuses, the forms must be mailed to the county, and the protected application date is the date the county receives the signed application. The Interim Assistance Reimbursement Form must be mailed to the applicant for signature.
For applications taken by phone or video, the country must determine eligibility without waiting for signed forms or requested verification.
CAPI redeterminations are suspended until June 16, 2020. Counties are not required to go back and conduct redeterminations for individuals whose redermination period falls between March 18, 2020 and June 16, 2020.
Counties and CAPI consortia must continue to require CAPI applicants and recipients who are qualified aliens to apply for SSI, and should direct them to telephone their local Social Security office. The Social Security Administration has agreed to transmit SSI denials letters to counties by email. (Program Manager Letter, March 20, 2020.)